Archive for the “Screenwriting From Iowa” Category


“Jackie Robinson made my success possible. Without him, I would never have been able to do what I did.”—Martin Luther King Jr. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”—Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson To learn more about Jackie Robinson read his autobiography I Never Had it […]

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“Our stories, our books, our films are how we cope with the random trauma-inducing chaos of life as it plays out.”—Musician Bruce Springsteen “I wrote to explain my own life to myself, stories are the vessels I use to interpret the world to myself.”—Novelist Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides) I’ll continue my run of James […]

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“There are strong incidents in [Casino Royale] which are all based on fact. I extracted them from my wartime memories of the Naval Intelligence Division of the Admiralty, dolled them up, attached a hero, a villain and a heroine, and there was the book.”—Ian Fleming Last week I picked up a used copy of Ian […]

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“It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born.”—Ian Fleming on picking the name James Bond In my book Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles I point out many instances of where some of the top screenwriters cribbed from others […]

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“The ability to depict wonderful characters in an entertaining and truthful way is probably the greatest asset a dramatist can have. Be mindful of plot construction, but be constantly aware that real characters make a play live, and nothing else. Concentrate on that.”—Hollywood screenwriter and Broadway playwright Richard Maibaum (1909-1991)Speech delivered at the University of […]

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There I was watching From Russia with Love (1963) a couple nights ago when out popped a scene featuring brass knuckles. I tracked down the script and I learned yet another name for brass knuckles —knuckle duster. The scene takes place when Rosa Kleb (Lotte Lenya) is looking for an ultimate tough guy to take […]

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There I was watching From Russia with Love (1963) a couple nights ago when out popped a scene featuring brass knuckles. I tracked down the script and I learned yet another name for brass knuckles —knuckle duster. The scene takes place when Rosa Kleb (Lotte Lenya) is looking for an ultimate tough guy to take […]

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“The real trick of it is to find the villain’s caper. Once you’ve got that, you’re off to the races and the rest is fun.”—Screenwriter Richard Maibaum Tonight I watched From Russia with Love (1963) for the first time. I wanted to see how Sean Connery as James Bond in 1963 held up in 2021. […]

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“What real writers follow are their characters. And what great writers follow are their characters as they evolve around a central dramatic argument that is actually meaningful to other human beings.”—Craig Mazin This is the time of year when New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made. And if you need a little mojo before you write […]

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Perhaps I’ll just to meme my way through 2021. Here’s the second meme I’ve ever produced—showing that the past year was hard on everyone. But George Clooney gets the last laugh as I just read that The Midnight Sky (which he directed and stars in) has been the number #1 movie on Netflix in 77 […]

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